Serpent worship is common among Hindus. It is particularly common among the Hindus of Kerala. The state has several temples dedicated to the worship of serpents (nagas). The most famous among these are the ones at Mannarasala, Pathirakkunnathu Mana and Pambumekkattu (or Pambimelkkavu).
Mannarasala in Alappusha district, of course, is the most famous of these and receives tens of thousands of devotees. The serpent temples at Pambumekkattu (Thrissur district) and Pathirakkunnathu Manu (Palakkad district) are not as famous but they serve as the Mannarasala to devotees in Malabar.
Pathira Kunnath Mana
In Malayalam the word Mana refers to a Brahmin household. This temple is owned and managed by the Brahmin family of Pathira Kunnathu Mana. While the temple can be visited at any time of the year, most devotees prefer to visit during the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam (mid-November to mid-December). Most Hindu families in the districts of Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram make it a point to visit the temple at least once a year to protect themselves and their family from snakes.
If you are visiting in Vrishchikam be sure to reach early in the morning. If you can manage to reach the shrine before 7 am, you will be able to get darshan easily. Expect long queues if you arrive after 8 am.
The main shrine of Nagaraja (the king of serpents) is inside the Mana. Devotees can also visit the snake grooves spread over acres of land. There are some small shrines inside the groove.
Devotees take the prasadam available from here (turmeric paste, vibhooti (holy ash) and rice) home. They consume some of it and sprinkle the rest over their land. This is done to protect the house and its surrounding from harmful snakes.
How to reach?
Pathira Kunnathu Mana is in the Mundakkottukurissi village of Shoranur. It takes about 30 minutes by road to reach the Mana from Shornur. It is only a short distance from Cherpulassery. Most devotees visiting the Mana also visit the Ayyappan Kavu at Cherpulassery.